Home Essential support Israel-Palestine. Reversing “negative trends” is essential, hears the Security Council |

Israel-Palestine. Reversing “negative trends” is essential, hears the Security Council |

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Rising tensions in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and continued settlement activities and settler-related violence continue.

Immediate measures to reverse negative trends and support the Palestinian people are essential“, said Lynn Hastings, UNSCO Deputy Chief, Resident and United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territory, speaking on behalf of Special Coordinator Tor Wennesland.

“The violence must stop”.

Corrosive situation

For years, illegal settlement expansions in the occupied West Bank have steadily shrunk Palestinian land and eroded prospects for a viable Palestinian state, as violence against civilians fuels mistrust and triggers a growing sense of despair that statehood, sovereignty and a peaceful future are slipping away.

“Three hundred and ninety-nine demolitions and seizures of Palestinian-owned structures and evictions this year have left more than 400 Palestinians displaced,” the UN official said.

Meanwhile, a crumbling Palestinian economy, the lack of intra-Palestinian unity and the urgent need to renew national institutions have also made Israel aware of the dangers of continuing on the current path.

Biden’s visit

Against the disturbing backdrop of endless cycles of violence and a constant risk of escalation – with no end in sight – US President Joe Biden’s visit earlier this month signaled a renewed consensus for a two-state solution based on the 1967 lines, Ms. Hastings said.

For the first time in years, Israeli, Palestinian and American leaders reiterated their support for a two-state solution as essential for Palestinians and Israelis alike.

“We must build on these reaffirmed commitments and work collectively to encourage steps towards a return to a meaningful political process,” she added.

Death and Violence

From clashes to shootings and stabbings throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, the Resident Coordinator gave examples of violence that killed nearly 300 Palestinians and some Israelis.

She said the bullet used to kill Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Aqleh had undergone forensic testing overseen by a senior US security official. However, reviewers “could not come to a definitive conclusion” due to its damaged condition.

After reviewing the results of Israeli and Palestinian investigations into Ms Aqleh’s death, it appeared that firing from Israel Defense Forces (IDF) positions was likely responsible, but “he found no reason to believe that it ‘was intentional,’ Ms. Hastings said.

Evictions and demolitions

Citing a lack of building permits issued by Israel, the demolitions recently displaced 61 Palestinians, including 31 children, with Ms Hastings pointing out that permits are nearly impossible for Palestinians to obtain.

And following a ruling by the Israeli High Court of Justice authorizing evictions in the southern West Bank hamlets of Masafer Yatta, Israeli forces have continued to adopt restrictive measures affecting Palestinian communities and humanitarian actors.

“I remain deeply concerned about the potential implications of the High Court’s decision and the humanitarian toll on the communities in question if the eviction orders are carried out,” she said.

Nothing can replace a legitimate political process that will resolve the fundamental issues at the root of the conflict – United Nations Resident Coordinator

Vulnerable in Gaza

With regard to the fragile situation in Gaza, the United Nations and its humanitarian partners continue to provide life-saving assistance and to further ease restrictions on the movement of people and goods to and from the Strip.

However, on July 16, militants from the enclave launched four rockets towards Israel. The Israeli army retaliated with airstrikes against what it said were Hamas targets. No injuries were reported on either side.

For the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, Israel announced that 400 permits would be issued to men over 55 and women over 50 to visit Jerusalem from Gaza for the first time since 2017.

Legitimate political process necessary

In conclusion, the Deputy Chief of UNSCO warned that if nothing is done, the corrosive situation will only deteriorate further and pleaded for the “ultimate goal” of two states living side by side in peace.

“Nothing can replace a legitimate political process that will resolve the fundamental issues at the root of the conflict,” she said, assuring that the UN “remains committed” to a just and lasting peace and will continue to work with all the parties concerned to achieve this objective.

Click on here to follow the meeting in its entirety.